If you were obsessed with the Vine app, then you'll definitely recognize Marcus Johns. The handsome 24-year-old was one of the most popular creators on the 6-second video platform, and it was easy to see why! Him and his pals (which included Cameron Dallas and brother Cody Johns) were funny, adorable, and felt like the best friends you just haven't met yet. Vine might be long gone, but Marcus is still thriving and evolving, both in front of the camera, and behind it as a director!
"Growing up I was always directing, but had never consciously labeled myself as a director," Marcus told Life & Style in an exclusive interview. "I think I thought of myself more as an actor because I had professional success with acting at such an early age. As I got older, I told myself that I wanted to be as behind-the-camera as I was in front of it, so I went to school to study directing at Florida State University." Marcus revealed that he eventually left school because he was blowing on the internet, but that doesn't mean he stopped caring about the other side of the industry. "Because of my success in front of the camera, I think it will take people a little longer to discover my equal but opposite passion: directing."
His most recent project is a YouTube series called Yard Boys, where Marcus and his friends "set out on a journey to hop trains from LA to NYC in one month." He stars in and directs the series, and he told us where he got the wild idea. "I heard about train hopping from a kid in college," he explained. "He told me he had hopped a train once thinking he would ride it for a few minutes and get off, but he couldn’t jump off for almost three hours because the train was going 70 miles an hour." Marcus said the guy was "crying the whole time" because he thought he would fall off and die. "After I heard that story I had to check it out for myself," Marcus explained of the dangerous and highly illegal activity.
However, it sounds like the "bros" didn't realize quite what they were getting into. While going through a tunnel for seven minutes, they truly feared for their lives. "It was deafeningly loud, and you could hardly breathe," he explained. "Luckily one of the guys read somewhere about how you can use a bandana and water as a make shift respiratory mask. Passing out on a train is not a fun time, and can kill you." Yikes!
Marcus still has a bunch of cool acting projects too. His performance in Go90's Cold got him a Streamy Award for best drama! However, he did a little improv with a cop car that almost got him in trouble. "I didn’t tell them my plans; I just drifted that beast so hard knowing they would have never allowed me had I told them," he laughed. "It looked so incredible because they were shooting in slow motion. It was exhilarating." He also got to try out being a bad boy in the upcoming film In This Grey Place. "I got to be this hardcore dude with neck tattoos. I was shocked when I looked at myself in the mirror because I could actually pull off that look. I left the neck tattoos on for a week after the shoot!"
Luckily, no matter what he's doing, Marcus can always count on his wife Kristin for support. The duo often vlogs themselves going on adventures or just hanging out, but Marcus made it clear that YouTube could never come between them. "It always has to be fun for us. We would rather miss a few days or even weeks of posting if life is busy. Our marriage always comes first. I think that mindset keeps our videos feeling more genuine and effortless because if we post new content it means we are really happy and enjoying whatever it is we filmed." Something else that might soon become Marcus' priority? Babies! "We want a minimum of three," said Marcus. "But I think we are four or five years away from trying."
If you're still obsessing over Marcus' first single "Perfect Unknown," get ready because there's more where that came from. "I can’t speak about that just yet. But, it is going to change the game," joked Marcus, teasing that it might actually be connected to another upcoming directorial project.
All in all, Marcus is just following his passion, and he's happy to take fans along for the ride. But don't expect him to change! "If I am making videos about my marriage/life/film/music etc. I better be loving what I am doing and not just doing it to stay relevant," he said. "I would rather be unknown and content than famous and miserable." Keep doing you, Marcus!